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Optimisation of chiral structures for micro-scale propulsion

Keaveny, E (Imperial College London)
Monday 24 June 2013, 11:45-12:30

Seminar Room 1, Newton Institute


In micron-scale hydrodynamics, shape and geometry play a strong role in determining the speed at which a body can move through fluid. This shape dependence is particularly important to the design of many microfluidic devices, including magnetically actuated micro-structures fabricated and studied for biomedical applications. In this talk, I will discuss several important experimentally-realisable micro-structures whose shapes couple their rotations and translations. I will address the optimal design of these devices through an infinite-dimensional optimisation problem, obtaining geometries that maximise speed for a given applied torque. Our optimisations show that attached payloads have a significant effect on optimal micro-structure shapes and current designs can be improved by upwards of 450%.


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